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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 October, 2003, 11:29 GMT 12:29 UK
Butler hails Welsh progress
Sonny Parker takes on the Italian defence
Former Wales and Lions back-row man Eddie Butler says that Wales have achieved their goals by making the quarter-finals at the World Cup - but also believes they can trouble England in the knock-out stages.

"They've done what they set out to do, but now they are into a different ball game altogether," Butler told BBC Sport Wales after witnessing the 27-15 victory over Italy in Canberra.

"Italy were full of battling and spirit in the first half but they fell away.

"That was partly because they were tired coming into the game, but also because Wales played very well.

"In the end Wales had full control of the forward confrontation and more opportunities out wide."

Butler believes that Wales have more chance of springing a quarter-final upset if they follow the likely route of finishing runners-up behind New Zealand in Group D.

Wales have a better chance of having a crack at England in the quarters than if they beat New Zealand and had to face South Africa
Eddie Butler
"Wales must now face the best two sides in the competition and Steve Hansen's talk of performance being more important than results could finally have some significance," said Butler.

"It's winner takes all in the group decider with New Zealand, but I think it's safe to say that Wales don't start as favourites!

"England should remain the goal - I feel we have a better chance of having a crack at the old enemy in the quarters than if we beat New Zealand and had to face South Africa.

"By beating Italy, Wales have kept themselves in the top tier of world rugby, but how they play in the next two matches will determine how we are seen within that elite.

"I don't think they will be humiliated in a big one-off against England in the quarters, but if they relax against the All Blacks I fear they'll get splattered."





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